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JOURNAL INFORMATION


Seychelles Research Journal is published twice a year, in February and August. The aim of this online, open access journal is to demonstrate the vibrancy of research in and about Seychelles. Boundaries are drawn loosely to include comparable issues elsewhere in the western Indian Ocean and in small island states further afield.

Information on how to submit proposed articles and on the refereeing process is explained elsewhere in the website. New proposals are always encouraged.

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Editor:  Emeritus Professor Dennis Hardy

Deputy Editor/Web Design:  Jane Woolfenden

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Marketing Consultant:  Guy Morel

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International Advisers:

  • Dr Ashton Berry, Consultant, Australia
  • Dr Pascal Nadal, Diocesan Service of Catholic Education, Mauritius
  • Dr Jivanta Schottli, Dublin City University, Ireland
  • Professor Erika Techera, University of Western Australia
  • Dr Kris Valaydon, Founding Editor, Island Studies
  • Professor Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Hong Kong Baptist University
  • Associate Professor Peter Rudge, University of Staffordshire, UK

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Sponsors:

Publication would not be  possible without  the generous support of our sponsors:

  • The East Indies Co.

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This is a publication of the University of Seychelles http://www.unisey.ac.sc

The views and opinions represented in this publication are not necessarily those of the institutions to which the authors are affiliated and, additionally, should not be attributed to the publisher.

©2022 – Seychelles Research Journal, The University of Seychelles

Cover photograph © Jane Woolfenden

ISSN 1659-7435


CONTENTS


♦  EDITORIAL

Read the editorial here: Editorial-SRJ-4-(1)


♦  ARTICLES

AUKUS: Redrawing the Geopolitical Map   ♦ Page 3 ♦

Dennis Hardy

In September 2021, AUKUS was announced to the world. It is a new agreement between Australia, the US and the UK, designed to strengthen Australia’s naval capability in the Indo-Pacific region. As well as explaining the details of what is planned, this paper considers the wider implications.

Acknowledging the scope of the subject, SRJ has invited leading specialists on the geopolitics of the region to provide their own respective views on AUKUS. Thus, Dennis Hardy’s article, which sets the scene, is followed by four additional perspectives, contributed in turn by David Brewster (in relation to Australia), Nilanthi Samaranayake (re. the US), Jivanta Schottli (re. India) and Christian Bueger (re. a small island state like Seychelles). Together, this unique collection examines a subject that is both topical and far-reaching.

Read the full article here:AUKUS-Redrawing_the_Geopolitical_Map-Dennis_Hardy-SRJ-4-(1) 

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AUKUS and the Indian Ocean: An Australian Perspective   ♦ Page 20 ♦

David Brewster

Although AUKUS does not mark a new military alliance (as the three member nations are already allies) it signals greater strategic coordination. And, for Australia, access to advanced submarine technology may propel it from a middle power to a higher league. Significantly, the arrival of eight SSNs will change the balance of power in the region. In diplomatic terms, the UK goes up a notch and France is aggrieved as it lost the earlier contract to build a new fleet.

Read the full article here: AUKUS_and_the_Indian_Ocean-An_Australian_ Perspective-David_Brewster-SRJ-4-(1)

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AUKUS: A View from Washington   Page 23 ♦

Nilanthi Samaranayake

Although the new partnership strengthens the US’s relationships with key allies, it will be at least a decade before its centerpiece project comes to fruition. During that time, the course of events is not certain, not least of all because of possible changes of leadership and shifts in policy in allied countries. AUKUS may also lead to other possible outcomes. France, for instance, which has lost ground in the short term, could well return to the heart of the Western alliance in the region. Meanwhile, India may have concerns that Australian submarines will encourage China to collaborate more on this front with Pakistan.

Read the full article here: AUKUS-A_View_from_Washington-Nilanthi_Samaranayake-SRJ-4-(1)

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AUKUS and India’s Pursuit of Strategic Autonomy   Page 27 ♦

Jivanta Schottli

India is not one of the AUKUS inner circle but its importance in the evolving security map in the region can hardly be ignored. In some respects, AUKUS supports India’s own strategic priorities. It does little, however, for its naval activities in the Indian Ocean, nor its high-altitude land borders with China and that nation’s closer links with Pakistan. In adjusting to the situation, one might expect a strengthening of ties with France and possibly, too, with Russia.

Read the full article here: AUKUS_and_India’s_Pursuit_of_Strategic_Autonomy-Jivanta_Schottli-SRJ-4-(1)

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Small Island States in the Indo-Pacific: Challenges and Opportunities for Seychelles

 Page 30 ♦

Christian Bueger

AUKUS confirms the shifting interest of the great powers towards the Indo-Pacific. This has implications for small island states like Seychelles, which have until recently enjoyed a more central position in the Indian Ocean. Now it is on the margins, well to the west of important geopolitical activity. If it is to retain the kind of influence it has exercised in oceanic affairs in the region, it will need to adjust its policies to embrace not only military considerations but issues of ocean management. Creole diplomacy has served it well in the past and needs to be drawn upon once again.

Read the full article here: Small_Island_States_in_the_Indo-Pacific-Challenges_and_Opportunities_for_Seychelles-Christian_Bueger-SRJ-4-(1)

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Catholic Education in Mauritius    Page 34 ♦

Pascal Nadal, Gilberte Chung Kim Chung and Jimmy Harmon

This paper sheds light on three pedagogical initiatives undertaken by the Mauritius Diocesan Service of Catholic Education which have also been instrumental in shaping educational policies at national level. Proceeding from a historical overview that charts the pioneering role of Catholic education in Mauritius, especially during the post-emancipation era, the aim is to highlight the fundamental role played by local and foreign religious congregations in delineating the contours of the Mauritian educational and social landscape at a time when the colonial government could barely attend to the basic needs of the population. The paper also looks to clarify the fundamental values upheld by these congregations. The three initiatives – relating to inclusive education, education for sustainability, and mother tongue-based multilingual education – are then discussed in more detail. Achievements accomplished and challenges met along these bumpy and uncharted territories are examined, as well as the pertinence of these initiatives regarding the specificity of Catholic education. As a way forward, the paper identifies other perspectives along which initiatives in the field of Catholic education could pave the way to further pedagogical developments at national level, for instance through the recently introduced ‘Education for Interculturality’ programme.

Read the full article here: Catholic_Education_in_Mauritius-P_Nadal-G_Chung_Kim_Chung-J_Harmon-SRJ-4-(1)

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How is Seychelles Dealing with its Past? Expectations and Realities    Page 50 ♦

Diana Benoit

The truth commission is a relatively new transitional justice approach for the people of Seychelles, a small island nation in the western Indian Ocean. The objectives of the Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission (TRNUC), inter alia, are to deal with alleged human rights violations by seeking the truths of incidents related to the coup d’état of 1977 and its aftermath. Despite the palpable expectations of uniting the Seychellois and helping the country to move on from a turbulent past, the commission faces many challenges and limitations. This article explores the key determinants outside of the TRNUC’s power and mandate since its inception, to highlight some of the expectations and realities. Financial and human resource constraints in dealing with around 400 active complaints are causing serious workload stresses and preventing the commission from providing its staff and the deponents with the necessary psychological support. Soon after the public hearings were broadcast on the television and online sites, it became a trending topic. However, the public backlash directly impacted on the work of the TRNUC because the deponents were bullied and harassed and, as a result, were reluctant to publicly tell their stories. Thus, although the internet and related technologies allow this milestone in the history of Seychelles to be transmitted worldwide, they also created an opening for people to support and criticize the system. This article argues for the victim’s right to the truth as a fundamental element within the transitional justice discourse and acknowledges the importance of forgiving and being forgiven using examples from some of the active cases.

Read the full article here: How_is_Seychelles_Dealing_With_its_Past-Expectations_and_Realities-Diana_Benoit-SRJ-4-(1)

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Disaster Management in a Small Island Developing State    Page 62 ♦

Yatin Jokhum and S. Mohammed Irshad

This paper examines disaster risk governance in Mauritius with a focus on flood management. It highlights the roles of key government agencies, the financing of disaster risk reduction, and the assumptions driving policy interventions. The authors argue that with recurrent floods hitting different parts of the island, the country’s best bet would be to revisit the core policies surrounding disaster risk management. The paper discusses three alternative axes of intervention and proposes a policy mix that recognizes that flood is a natural process that cannot be entirely avoided. Based on lessons learned in the international context, the authors propose the introduction of a market-based mechanism to mitigate the tension between development and the preservation of green infrastructure as a flood-control measure.

Read the full article here: Disaster_Management_in_a_Small_Island_Developing_State-Yatin_Jokhum_and_S_Mohammed_Irshad-SRJ-4-(1)

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Seychelles’ Image as a Tourist Destination: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly    Page 74 ♦

Herve Atayi

There is a growing interest in destinations’ image formation and, in particular, how developing countries and their hosts are represented in tourist brochures. Theoretical frameworks drawn from the social sciences have been used to explain and understand destinations’ image formation in these countries. However, none of them have examined, in-depth, the Indian Ocean, thus making the region under-studied, and in particular the islands of Seychelles. Moreover, the formation of the image of a destination is consistently represented through tourist brochures and media, thus neglecting the lived experience of tourists and locals alike. Using photo-elicitation, combined with in-depth interviews, this paper seeks to understand, from a phenomenological standpoint, tourists’ and locals’ experience in Seychelles in terms of image representation. The findings reveal that the image of Seychelles can be summarized as Place, People, and Price. These 3Ps, are a combination of physical attributes of the place and the actors’ lived experience. I argue that the 3Ps could be a grid through which a tourist researcher may construct the image of a destination. The process has also led me to propose a further three steps that can contribute to an image formation. I coin them: Initial image, Conflicted image, and Dominant image (ICD). This study should, therefore, be of value to tourism stakeholders and academics wishing to understand, create, and protect a destination’s image.

Read the full article here: Seychelles’_Image_as_a_Tourist_Destination-The_Good_the_Bad_and_the_Ugly-Herve_Atayi-SRJ-4-(1)


♦  CONFERENCE REPORTS

Conference of the Parties (COP), Glasgow, 31 October-13 November 2021    Page 99 ♦

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The Seychelles Child Development Virtual Symposium, 9 December 2021    Page 103 ♦

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